There’s no shortage of ways to savor these summer beauties.
Posted in , Aug 17, 2018
By mid-August, if you are lucky enough to have some tomato plants in your garden, you might be starting to think, “Is there such a thing as too many tomatoes?”
My answer is a resounding, “No!” The flavor of tomatoes harvested at the height of summer—pert and sweet cherry varieties, hefty and fragrant big fruits alike, all still warm from the garden sun—can’t be replicated at any other time of year. Our task is to lean into the bounty, and find fresh and easy ways to enjoy all those tomatoes.
Here are three of my favorites:
1) Colorful Tomato Salad
A fresh salad of tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil is a classic—and can be a lovely lunch with the addition of some sliced fresh mozzarella cheese. Elevate your tomato salad by seeking out colorful varieties in your garden or local market. Heirloom tomatoes come in green stripes, deep purples, vibrant yellows and oranges, and of course those trademark reds. Make your salad plate a summery rainbow by expanding your tomato palette!
2) No-Cook Tomato Sauce
Tossed with fresh pasta, spooned over grilled chicken, or mounded on a pizza, this sauce won’t heat up your house or take up your whole weekend. Simply chop tomatoes and toss with minced garlic, torn basil leaves, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Cover lightly and allow the salt to mellow the garlic and draw out the tomato’s juices for about an hour before serving.
3) Roast and Freeze
I am not skilled in the art of canning produce, but I do have a freezer, and I’m not afraid to use it. When cherry tomatoes are at their peak, I fill a roasting pan with the tiny globes and sprinkle with a generous amount of minced garlic, several twigs of fresh thyme, and a healthy glug of olive oil. Roasting can either be fast—20 minutes in a 450-degree oven—or slow—2-3 hours in a 250-degree oven, depending on your timeline and heat tolerance. When the tomatoes have cooled, spoon them—juices, oil, and all—into freezer-ready containers that will be your saviors when you crave a taste of summer a few months from now.
What are your favorite easy ways to enjoy summer tomatoes?